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From: Robert Bastow <>
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: Hiram Maxim, or...a penny shaved is a A very
Date: Wed, 18 Aug 1999 04:46:16 -0400

Jon Elson wrote:

> Whew!  This guy (Hiram Stevens Maxim) was sure a good machinist!  I
> could probably carry this off, too, but I'd probably go through a dozen
> pennies before getting the clamping right.  Then, I can't even guess how
> many it would take before I got such a good solder joint that it could
> be hidden by burnishing the edges!
> Jon

Making double headed (English) Pennies, was a favorite lunch hour pastime when I
was an apprentice.  So much so that they were often come across "on the street"
and no soccer or cricket match would have the coin flip without ALL parties
carefully scrutinising the coin to be flipped.

God help the Ref. who inadvertantly produced a "double header" for the start of
a local "grudge" match!!

Ours were produced entirely without solder and if well done were virtually

First, a penny was gripped in a custom collet and a recess bored to half depth
in the face..ending just shy of the raised "milled" edge.

A second penny was held on a "pitch clutch" (of previous mention) and carefully
aligned with the thumb nail, while rotating and before the pitch set up hard.
(Try doing THAT with carpet tape or super glue!!)

The penny was first turned to the exact o/d of the recess and then faced to half
thickness.  The two parts were then pressed together.

The secret was to have the two mating internal faces SLIGHTLY dished away from
each other.  That way they didn't vibrate when the penny was flipped or
dropped.  That "Dead" sound was a "Dead Givaway" and a sign of careless

A solder joint would give the same effect of "deadness"

Robert "The Ringer" Bastow

From: Robert Bastow <>
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: Unsticking Carpet Tape
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 1999 11:35:09 -0400

Turners of old, used what was called a "Pitch chuck"

This was a faceplate or similar, with the face relieved enough to contain a good
dollop of "Pitch" of many different formulae were used.

In use, the pitch is warmed over a flame and the part pressed in place.
Reheating would release the part.

I suggest you use hot melt glue as a modern variant of this.


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